Privacy Notice


VDS Support Limited is committed to protecting the privacy and security of your personal data.

This Privacy Notice explains how we use your personal data and tells you about your privacy rights and how the law protects you.

Data Protection Officer contact details

Any questions regarding this Privacy Notice and our privacy practices should be sent:

By email:

In writing: The Data Protection Officer, VDS Support Limited, 4 Haig Court, Parkgate Industrial Estate, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 8XZ.

By phone: 01565 652737.

About us

We are VDS Support Limited (trading as VDS Support). We are a wholly owned subsidiary of the Veterinary Defence Society Limited (“VDS”, trading as VDS Insurance), a mutual insurance company who provides insurance to its members against claims arising from allegations of professional negligence and the costs of criminal and/or disciplinary proceedings. VDS also provides its members with associated risk management services including advice, training and access to complementary third party insurance products and services. VDS’ members are veterinary surgeons and Registered Veterinary Nurses in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

In this Privacy Notice "VDS Support", "we", "us" or "our" means VDS Support Limited.

Our registered address is 4 Haig Court, Parkgate Industrial Estate, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 8XZ. We are registered in England and Wales under company number 11610161.

We are registered as a Data Controller with the UK Information Commissioner under registration number ZA467277.

We introduce access to products and other membership benefits that have a close affinity and resonance with the protection and wellbeing needs of VDS members.

VDS also owns the subsidiary company VDS Training Services Limited (VDS Training) which develops and delivers non-clinical risk mitigation training for vets, veterinary nurses and other members of the veterinary team.

The personal data we collect

Personal data can be anything that identifies and relates to a living person. This can include information that when linked with other information, allows a person to be uniquely identified. For example, this could be your name and contact details.

We may collect and process the following personal data:

  • Identity and contact details such as your name, address, other contact details (e.g. email and telephone details), gender, date of birth.
  • Product information where you have enquired about or purchased a product or service from the VDS or VDS Training, or from one of our business partners, which may consist of your name, a policy number, a premium amount and a commission amount.
  • Marketing data such as whether or not you have consented to receive marketing from us, the VDS or VDS Training, or from other and/or from third parties.
  • Website and communication usage including details of your visits to our website and information collected through cookies and other tracking technologies, including, but not limited to, your IP address and domain name, your browser version and operating system, traffic data, location data, web logs and other communication data, and the resources that you access (please refer to our Cookies Statement below).

When you call us we may record your call. This helps us with training and lets us monitor the service we provide.

When you visit our premises, we may also collect information about you on CCTV, as part of our security and crime prevention measures.

How we collect your personal data

We collect and process personal information that relates to you either:

  • directly from you (including from forms and surveys that you complete, from your correspondence and phone calls with us and details of your visits to our website);
  • from our parent company, the VDS, where you are a member of the VDS;
  • from VDS Training, where you have enquired about or purchased a training course;
  • from third parties such as from our business partners, where you have enquired about or purchased a product from them;
  • through our website and other software applications made available by us for use on or through computers and mobile devices;
  • from our social media pages and other social media content, tools and applications;
  • from publicly available sources such as internet search engines, news articles and social media sites.

What we do with the personal data

We may use your personal data for a number of different purposes. For each purpose we must have a lawful reason to process it.

Please see "The lawful basis for processing your personal data" below.

The lawful basis for processing your personal data

Data protection law requires us to rely on one or more lawful grounds to process your personal data. We consider the following grounds to be relevant:


Where you provide specific consent to us using your personal data for our business purposes. For example, to send you marketing communications by electronic means. We will provide an option to unsubscribe or opt-out of further communications on any electronic marketing communication sent to you, or you may opt out by contacting us (please refer to "Your right to withdraw consent" below).

Legal obligation

We need your personal data where necessary so that we can comply with a legal obligation to which we are subject, for example, where we are ordered by a court.

Legitimate interests

This is when we have identified a genuine and legitimate reason for contacting you, which crucially does not override your own rights or interests. Broadly speaking Legitimate Interests allow us to process your personal information if we have a genuine and legitimate reason to do so. Before we rely upon our legitimate interest we will carefully consider and balance any potential impact on you and your rights.

Examples of where we apply legitimate interests include:

  • Your best interests – processing your information to protect you against fraud when transacting on our website, and to ensure our websites and systems are secure;
  • Keeping you informed of our services – by sending you marketing by post (or by email if you have provided your consent to receive electronic marketing) about the products and services we provide introductions to, and the events, activities, products and services from VDS and VDS Training; 
  • Keeping you informed about events and activities, products, services and offers from carefully selected third party partners we may engage with from time to time (where these may interest you or where a benefit is received by VDS Support).
  • You can decide not to receive these communications or change the way in which we may contact you at any time (see "Your right to withdraw consent");
  • Personalisation – where the processing enables us to enhance, modify, personalise or otherwise improve our services and communications for the benefit of our customers;
  • Internal research and analysis – your personal data also helps us to get to know you better. We carry out internal analysis on data relating to our customers to better understand behaviour and responses and identify patterns and trends. This helps inform our approach and makes us a stronger and more effective organisation;
  • We process your data to determine the effectiveness of promotional campaigns and advertising and to develop our offering of products, services, systems and relationships with you and to provide you with relevant information. To do this, we may make use of profiling and screening techniques of our customer database to communicate with you effectively and efficiently;
  • Due Diligence – we may need to conduct investigations on customers and potential customers to determine if those companies and individuals have been involved or convicted of offences such as fraud, bribery and corruption.

Please note that we will only provide you with electronic marketing provided you have opted-in to receive those communications. You have the opportunity to opt-out at any time as explained in the "Your right to withdraw consent" section of this notice.

When we contact you

There are reasons for us to contact you during your relationship with us. That contact may be by email, post, telephone or SMS.

Marketing communications

You can tell us if you would like to receive information about products and services we think you might be interested in. For example, we may contact you to research your opinions and explore new ways to meet your needs, assess and develop our products, systems, prices and brand. We may also send you newsletters or other marketing relating to ourselves, VDS or VDS Training.

If you would rather not receive marketing communications from us, you can let us know at any time by using the unsubscribe function in our emails, by contacting VDS Support on +44 (0) 1565 652737, or by contacting the VDS Support Data Protection Officer (details above).

The recipients or categories of recipients of the personal data

From time to time, we may share your personal information with the VDS and VDS Training or with other third parties such as those providers who we have chosen to partner with to provide access to other products and services. We will keep your personal information confidential and only share it with the third parties listed below for the purposes set out in this Privacy Notice.

Where relevant, we will share your personal information with:

  • VDS; 
  • VDS Training;
  • our business partners or other product providers who we have engaged with in order to provide access to products and services to you;
  • our professional advisors (e.g. legal, financial, business, risk management or other advisors), bankers, insurers and auditors;
  • third party service providers, to whom we outsource certain functions such as information and document management, office support, technology and IT services, printing businesses;
  • Government or other public bodies such as law enforcement and HMRC;
  • selected third parties in connection with any sale, transfer or disposal of our business;
  • where necessary, courts and other alternative dispute resolution providers (such as arbitrators and mediators).


Transferring your information outside of Europe

As part of the services offered to you, the information which you provide to us may be transferred to countries outside the European Economic Area (‘EEA’). You should be aware that these countries may not have similar data protection laws to the UK. By submitting your personal data, you are agreeing to this transfer, storing or processing. If we transfer your information outside of the EEA in this way, we will take steps to ensure that appropriate security measures are taken with the aim of ensuring that your privacy rights continue to be protected as outlined in this policy. Transfers outside of EEA will be protected by appropriate safeguards, namely the use of standard contractual data protection clauses adopted or approved by the European Commission.

How we store your information

We apply appropriate technical and organisational measures to encrypt and protect email traffic. If your email service does not support encryption, any emails we send or receive may not be protected. We use strict procedures and security features to protect communications and personal data from unauthorised access. Data is held in the United Kingdom using secure servers, in printed form and in secure off-site storage facilities. We also have procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so.

How long is your information kept for?

We keep your information for no longer than is necessary for the purposes it was collected for. The length of time we retain your personal data for is determined by operational and legal considerations. For example, we are legally required to hold some types of information to fulfil our statutory and regulatory obligations (e.g. regulatory and tax/accounting purposes).

We review our retention periods on a regular basis.

Your data protection rights

You have certain rights over the personal information that we hold about you. If you want to exercise any of the rights, please contact the Data Protection Officer (details above). We may be required to ask for further information and/or evidence of identity. We will endeavour to respond fully to all requests within one month of receipt of your request, however if we are unable to do so we will contact you with reasons for the delay.

Here is a summary of the rights that apply:

Right of access

You have a right to request access to the personal data that we hold about you. You also have the right to request a copy of the information we hold about you, and we will provide you with this unless legal exceptions apply. If you want to access your information, please send a description of the information you would like to see and proof of your identity.

Right to have inaccurate personal information corrected

You have the right to have inaccurate or incomplete information we hold about you corrected. The accuracy of your information is important to us. If your details change, or if you believe any of the other information we hold is inaccurate or out of date, please let us know.

Right of erasure

You may ask us to delete some or all of your personal information and in certain cases, and subject to certain exceptions, we will do so as far as we are required to.

Right to restrict use

You have a right to ask us to restrict the processing of some or all of your personal information if there is a disagreement about its accuracy, or we are not lawfully allowed to use it.

Right for your personal information to be portable

You have the right to request that some of your personal data is provided to you, or to another data controller, in a commonly used, machine-readable format.

Right to object

(See "Your right to object" below).

Right in relation to automated decision-making including profiling

You have the right to request us to reconsider a decision or take a new decision that is not based solely on automated processing.

Please note that exceptions apply to a number of these rights, and not all rights will be applicable in all circumstances. For more details we recommend you consult the guidance published by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office.

Your right to object

You have the right to object to processing where we are using your personal information:

  • based on legitimate interests:
  • for direct marketing; or
  • for statistical/research purposes.

Please contact the Data Protection Officer (details above).

Your right to withdraw consent

If you wish to withdraw your consent for the processing of your personal data as described in this Privacy Notice, please contact VDS Support’s Data Protection Officer (details above).

Your choices

As part of your relationship with us we may need to contact you from time to time for administration purposes. We’re committed to putting you in control of your data so you’re free to change your communication preferences (including to tell us that you don’t want to be contacted for marketing purposes) at any time.

We will not use your personal information for marketing purposes if you have indicated that you do not wish to be contacted and unless you exercise your “right to erasure” (as described above) we will retain your details on a suppression list to help ensure that we only contact you where it is necessary to do so as part of our relationship. 


How to complain

If you are not satisfied with our use of your personal data or our response to any request by you to exercise any of your rights, or if you think we have breached data protection legislation, you have the right to complain to the ICO, details below.

In the UK

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane




Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate)

01625 545 745 (national rate)


If you fail to provide personal data

Where we need to collect personal data under the terms of a contract we may have with you, and you fail to provide the data when requested, we may not be able to perform the contract we have or are trying to enter with you to provide you with our services.

Keeping your information up to date

We take reasonable steps to ensure your information is accurate and up to date. Please let us know if your details change.

Links to other websites

Our website may contain links to other websites run by other organisations. This Privacy Notice applies only to our website‚ so we encourage you to read the privacy statements on the other websites you visit. We cannot be responsible for the privacy policies and practices of other websites or third parties even if you access those using links from our website.


We may receive information about you if you use any websites that we operate or other services we provide. We work closely with third parties (including, for example, business partners, sub-contractors in technical, payment and delivery services, advertising networks, analytics providers, search information providers, credit reference agencies) and may receive information about you from them.

Our website uses cookies to distinguish you from other users of our website. This helps us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and also allows us to improve our website.

A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that we store on your browser or the hard drive of your computer if you agree. Cookies contain information that is transferred to your computer's hard drive.

We use the following cookies:

Strictly necessary cookies           

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website or make use of e-billing services.

Analytical/performance cookies              

They allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works, for example, by ensuring that users are finding what they are looking for easily.

Functionality cookies    

These are used to recognise you when you return to our website. This enables us to personalise our content for you, greet you by name and remember your preferences (for example, your choice of language or region).

Targeting cookies           

These cookies record your visit to our website, the pages you have visited and the links you have followed. We will use this information to make our website and any advertising displayed on it more relevant to your interests. We may also share this information with third parties for this purpose.

Please note that third parties (including, for example, advertising networks and providers of external services like web traffic analysis services) may also use cookies, over which we have no control. These cookies are likely to be analytical/performance cookies or targeting cookies.

You can block cookies by activating the setting on your browser that allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies. Please note that if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential cookies) you may not be able to access all or parts of our website.

Changes to this policy

Any changes we may make to this Privacy Notice in the future will be posted on this website so please check this page to ensure that you're happy with any changes. If we make any significant changes we'll make this clear on this website.

Review of this Policy

We keep this Privacy Notice under regular review. This Notice was last updated in March 2019.